Powerlifting Rules

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The Guide to Powerlifting Rules Article Series covers the rules of powerlifting down to the smallest details. Ever wonder what the exact specifications are for a legal bench? How about exactly how high your can wrap your wrists? These types of details are covered thoroughly in the guide.
Whether you’re a beginner who needs a comprehensive guide to the sport’s rules, or a more advanced lifter looking to take advantage of the details, this article series has everything you need.

Article Topics

Six topics are covered:

  1. Equipment Specifications
  2. This section covers what types of bars are allowed, what their measurements have to be, what types of racks can be used, plate specifications, and generally anything that has to do with the actual equipment that is used by lifters.

  3. Personal Gear
  4. This section covers what Powerlifters actually wear and use personally. The exact rules regarding wrist wraps, knee sleeves, belts, shoes, and a whole lot more are covered.

  5. Squat Rules
  6. If you guessed that this section was about the squat, you guessed right. The basic rules regarding depth and commands are covered as well as a few more esoteric details that often get overlooked.

  7. Bench Rules
  8. This piece covers everything to do with the bench press. Despite what you may think, the bench press is the most technically complicated powerlift in terms of the rules. There are literally dozens of rules regarding head position, foot orientation, grip width, grip style, and a whole lot more. I highly recommend that you review this piece if you don’t know the bench rules by heart yet.

  9. Deadlift Rules
  10. Unlike the bench, the deadlift is the simplest powerlift in terms of the rules. Nonetheless, this section covers the most important deadlift rules in detail. Just because it is simple doesn’t mean you can’t mess it up if you don’t educate yourself.

  11. Powerlifting Federation Reference Guide
  12. This is not an actual article but a reference table displaying the various differences in the rules across the most popular federations. If you’ve ever wanted a quick, handy reference that lets you know which federations allow 24-hour weigh-ins, which ones use deadlift bars, which ones allow monolifts, which ones let you bench with your feet up, or anything along those lines, you’ll be able to find the answer with a quick glance on at this table.

  13. Bonus: How to Pick the Right Powerlifting Federation

This article, and the accompanying video, do not necessarily address the rules themselves. Instead this video provides a brief historical perspective on the sport and an explanation of why there are more than four dozen “American” powerlifting federations to choose from. More importantly, after reading this piece, you’ll have a great idea of how to sort through the various federations and pick the one that best matches your particular goals and interests. Specific federation recommendations are included.

The Guide to Powerlifting Rules: Table of Contents

Part I: Powerlifting Equipment
Part II: Gear
Part III: The Squat
Part IV: The Bench
Part V: The Deadlift
Part VI: Powerlifting Federation Reference Guide
Bonus: How To Pick The Right Federation

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